Washington: Slamming former president Barack Obama’s dealings with the communist regime in Cuba, President Donald Trump on Friday unveiled new restrictions on travel, business with Cuba, in a move clearly charting his own course of relations with the Castro-led government.
Trump’s speech in Miami is his latest to tear down Obama’s legacy, who spent the last two years of his presidency trying to thaw relations with Cuba, which included a trip to the island in 2016. “I am canceling the last administration’s completely one-sided deal with Cuba,” Trump said,.
Branding the Obama administration as one which looked the other way on the Castro regime’s human rights violations, Trump said that he, as President, will “expose the crimes of the Castro regime.”
“They made a deal with a government that spread violence and instability in the region and nothing they got, think about it, nothing they got, they fought for everything and we just didn’t fight hard enough, but now, those days are over. We now hold the cards. The previous administration’s easing of restrictions of travel and trade does not help the Cuban people. They only enrich the Cuban regime.” Trump said.
Listing some of the Castro regime’s anti-United States actions, Trump asserted, “We will never, ever be blind to it. We know what is going on and we remember what happened.” However, diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba will remain open, as will the newly opened embassies in Washington and Havana, also there will be no further restrictions on the types of goods that Americans can take out of Cuba, including the popular rum and cigars.
Trump said he is keeping the embassy open “in the hope that our countries can forge a much stronger and better path.” The Trump administration will begin strictly enforcing the authorized exemptions that allow travel between the US and Cuba and prohibit commerce with Cuban businesses owned by the military and intelligence services.
The President has also directed Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to convene a task force on expanding Internet access on the island and reiterate the United States’ opposition to efforts in the United Nations to lift the Cuban embargo until more is done to honor human rights.
“To the Cuban government, I say, put an end to the abuse of dissidents, release the political prisoners, stop jailing innocent people, open yourselves to political and economic freedoms, return the fugitives from American justice, including the return of the cop killer Joanne Chesimard,” Trump said, while challenging the Castro regime “to come to the table with a new agreement that is in the best interest of both their people and our people.”
The President strongest possible rhetoric during his address was directed at Castro, where he clearly said, “the harboring of criminals and fugitives will end. You have no choice. It will end.”